A court in Delhi on Friday sentenced Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel to six months in prison for trespassing onto the home of a realtor in an East Delhi colony in 2015, PTI reported.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal held Goel and four others – Sumit Goyal, Hitesh Khanna, Atul Gupta and Balbir Singh – guilty, saying that the case against them had been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“I am of the view that the punishment needs to be deterrent in this case,” Vishal said, also imposing a Rs 1,000 penalty on each of them. However, the court granted them bail on a bond of Rs one lakh to enable them to file appeals in a higher court.

Goel has denied the allegation. According to the prosecution, the Speaker entered the home of Manish Ghai, a builder, on February 6, 2015, a day before the Delhi Assembly elections, accusing him of stashing liquor, blankets and other things for distribution ahead of the polls. However, the accused claimed that they went to Ghai’s home with a police team, including the local station house officer and assistant commissioner of police.

“As per the complainant, some labourers were staying at a house that was owned by him,” the police said in it chargesheet. “He received a call from one of them at about 9.30 pm on February 6, 2015, about Goel and his associates forcibly entering the building and damaging the property.”

In his complaint, Ghai claimed that the group broke a cupboard, drawers, kitchen items, windowpanes and mirrors. The were assaulted when the objected, according to the first information report. The police filed a case of rioting, trespassing, causing mischief and voluntarily causing hurt.

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